One of the most important jobs we have in the ESDA office is to help residents of Montgomery County prepare for and react to severe weather. We work with all law enforcement agencies and ambulance and hospital entities to ensure that when severe weather strikes we will be as prepared as we can be.

We are also in close touch with Montgomery County 9-1-1 whenever storm clouds gather.

To help you prepare for severe weather we are providing the following information. There are many good websites that provide additonal information and those are listed at the bottom of this page.

We are always available to speak to school classes or groups in the county about what we can do to prepare for severe weather. Call us anytime, 532-9560.

Are you ready for a thunderstorm?

Here's what you can do to prepare yourself and your family.

Before lightning strikes . . .

Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.

If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.

When a storm approaches . . .

Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.

Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances.(Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)

Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!

Thunderstorm . . .

Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If caught outside . . .

If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.

If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Protecting yourself outside . . .

Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.

Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.

Do not lie flat on the ground-this will make you a larger target!

After the storm passes . . .

Stay away from storm-damaged areas.

Listen to the radio for information and instructions.

If someone is struck by lightning . . .

People struck by lightning carryno electrical charge and can behandled safely.

Call for help. Get someone to dial 9-1-1 or your local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) number.

The injured person has received an electrical shock and may be burned, both where they were struck and where the electricity left their body. Check for burns in both places. Being struck by lightning can also cause nervous system damage, broken bones, and loss of hearing or eyesight.

Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR.If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries. Learn first aid and CPR by taking a Red Cross first aid and CPR course. Call your local Red Cross chapter for class schedules and fees.

Do you know what these weather terms mean?

Here are a few commonly used weather terms.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch -- means severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning -- means a severe thunderstorm is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters.

Tornado Watch -- means tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms and be prepared to seek shelter.

Tornado Warning -- means a tornado is imminent or has been indicated by Doppler radar or reported by storm spotters. Move to your pre-designated place of safety immediately.

Flash Flood or Flood Watch -- means flash flooding or flooding is possible in your area.

Flash Flood or Flood Warning -- means flash flooding or flooding is occurring or is imminent. Take necessary precautions immediately!

Winter Storm Watch -- means hazardous winter weather conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice are possible in your area.

Winter Storm Warning -- means hazardous winter weather conditions are forecast to occur within 12 hours or are about to begin in your area. Stay indoors!


Preventing Damages Caused By Storms

Severe weather in the form of floods, tornadoes, snow storms, and thunderstorms cause damage to property and human health in Illinois every year. Montgomery County is beginning the process of developing a plan to help reduce the damages caused by storms. This plan, is called a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Preventing damages, not responding to emergencies, is the focus of this plan. The County already has an emergency response plan.

Why Plan?

Preparing this plan will help accomplish three objectives:

1. Raise public awareness about storm damage and man-made hazards

2. Identify activities and projects that can help prevent and reduce specific types of damage caused by storms.

3. Make Montgomery County eligible for federal funding for these activities and projects

How Can I Participate?

There will be numerous opportunities for Montgomery County residents to participate. Information about how to participate will be posted on this website and announced through other methods such as the news media, direct mailing, and postings at the government offices, libraries and other locations.

Rather than prepare a plan and request public comment, an ongoing dialogue to ensure meaningful participation will be conducted throughout the development of the plan.

Ø Persons representing agriculture, business, communities, emergency management, government, insurance, law enforcement, natural resources, public works, and utilities among other interests from across the County will be asked to provide input and serve on a Hazard Mitigation Committee

Ø The municipalities of Coffeen, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and Nokomis will participate in the planning process.

Ø Working sessions, open to the public, of the Hazard Mitigation Committee will be conducted to help prepare this plan and obtain comment.

Ø Sections of the draft plan will be made available as they are drafted for public comment.

Ø The draft plan, in its entirety, will also be made available for public comment through public forums, this website, and other means. The draft plan will be revised and submitted to state and federal agencies for approval.

Who Can I Contact For More Information?

Ruben Boehler
Committee Chair
1215 Seymour Avenue
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Telephone: 217/532-6109

Diana Holmes
EMA Coordinator
120 N. Main Street
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Telephone: 217/532-9560

Click HERE to download the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan Questionnaire.






Welcome to the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency(EMA). In 2005 Montgomery County ESDA became Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.(EMA)

Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Homeland Security and Illinois Terrorism Task Force started offering more educational classes to better prepare Illinois Counties for many types of emergencies. Illinois ranks third nation wide for response capabilities for almost any type of emergency, and can send coordinators statewide or nation wide.

All counties have been trained for operating under NIMS. (National Incident Management System). Montgomery County has trained 22 people in Incident Management forming an Incident Management Team, (IMT) which can be put into service any where in the county or state.

Montgomery County has partnered with MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) in order to have a county HazMat Team equipped to handle most chemical spills, from rail lines or trucking incidents. MABAS contributed $250,000.00 in equipment to get the Team started. MABAS has also given the county much needed equipment such as Generator and Light trailer, and IMT trailer. In 2011 Montgomery County partnered again with MABAS and received dive masks with communication capabilities and 2 dive boats.  That equipment is housed at the Litchfield Fire Department.

The county Emergency Management Agency coordinates the response to any disaster and/or emergency situation within Montgomery County. EMA is required under Illinois law and local ordinance to "aid the citizens and government agencies within Montgomery County to mitigate, prepare, respond to, educate, and recover from emergency and/or disaster situations."

EMA also assists with education in schools, manufacturing facilities, shelters, and the general public on the most effective methods of emergency planning and disaster recovery.

When necessary, Montgomery County EMA operates an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the basement of the new courthouse at 120 N. Main St. in Hillsboro.

The EMA mission is deliberately broad. Often called upon to respond to emergency situations as either a coordinating agency or a support agency, EMA must maintain a staff of trained volunteers well-versed in a number of areas.

Severe Weather Preparedness

One of the main functions of EMA is severe weather event coordination. This includes a network of Montgomery County Storm Spotters who are strategically deployed throughout the county to provide advance warning of severe weather.

Included in our EMA units are dedicated spotters from the various towns and villages in the county, and a great unit of amateur radio operators. All of these storm spotters train every two years with the National Weather Service. Weather Spotter classes are taught every other year and are advertised in the local papers.


For more information:
Call us at:
(217) 532-9560

Drop us a line at:
Montgomery County EMA
County Courthouse
120 N. Main St. Hillsboro, IL 62049.

Email Us at: